Teaching the kids I do is what has made me far more “fiscally conservative” than I ever used to be or might have been had I pursued another career. On a daily basis, I see the mindset that is developing in today’s kids who exist within the realm of reliance on a government that always provides for them, over and over. Schools are microcosms of that outside world in that we provide many of life’s necessities that really should be provided for by the parents/families themselves and chance after chance after chance to move past bad decisions. It gets to the point that the lazy and the delinquent kids are given all these chances and treats that their harder working peers don't get.
Now, it may sound great to have such a wonderfully paternal government or school, but the end result is a kid with an over-inflated sense of entitlement and whose lack of effort is more than made up for by the time, effort, and energy of others. Last week, a girl proudly announced that she will NEVER fail a class really, because No Child Left Behind entitles her to pass high school no matter what. Then there was my kid who insisted that since Obama won, he'd never have to do any school work again. These kids really believe the government is there for handouts and forgives and even rewards their complete lack of effort.
Of course there are people who really need government support and they work hard, often at more than one job, trying desperately to get out of the hole they’re in. Bad luck and circumstances may be more to blame than conscious poor decisions made by those people who are forced to rely on government assistance and I believe help should always be there for them, but NOT the people who make absolutely no effort to help themselves.
Now I don't propose cutting off welfare completely, just that after a limited number of years a person may be on it I believe the next step should be used to pay for that person's training for a job and then aid in finding a position. The cost of such training and child care that may be required would be offset by that person then getting a job sooner and actually paying taxes in return. Teach a man to fish, as they say. We can only hand out so many fish before we're cheating that person out of the positive contribution they could be making to the world and to their own self esteem.
This is not about race, or one particular party, I just believe in people being independent, earning their rewards, only relying on taxpayer’s money for income as a last resort, and definitely not abusing that help while others work their asses off to get out of similar circumstances. I’m not saying it’s easy to get out of poverty, there are so many factors that can hold a person back from being able to do that, I just respect the attempts to make a positive contribution to this world, rather than sitting back and taking from others.
Part of my job is to help in the development of responsible, polite, diligent citizens who can make a positive contribution to the world, or at least to their families. I see too many students who are so used to being given what they want that if they don't get it, they take it (sadly none of my students go the Jean Valjean route, they steal less noble things and for less noble reasons). At what point do we, as an education system and as a country, teach these kids that earning is far more admirable and fulfilling than just getting and taking?
I'm sorry if I have offended both my democratic and republican readers... I see value in aspects of both your parties, and I knew Obama would win but I couldn't bring myself to add to the growing cycle of dependent students. As stupid as the Libertarian's foreign policy is, I'd have voted for them if I felt they had a chance of winning.
I hope I have confirmed that I didn't vote for McCain because I'm a raging racist, despise the environment, and want to blow up "baby killers". I've got very good friends who are democrats and I'd hate for them to think I dislike them at all for their beliefs. I just have different ones, that's all.
Oh and Goddammit, California!! Let the gay people get married!! Geez louise. Help them, California! You're they're only hope!
I'm off. I fancy getting a reuben sandwich. Oh the irony...